Understanding Closed Captions in YouTube: A Simple Guide

Closed captions are an extremely beneficial feature for YouTube and other video-sharing platforms that help include a more extensive audience base including those with hearing impairments or disabilities, those who speak other languages and those who are not fluent in the language spoken in the video. Closed captions are a form of text on the screen that displays all the spoken words, sound effects, music, and other auditory information that occurs during a video. This feature can be easily activated either during the video creation process or afterwards to make videos more user-friendly and accessible.

If you’re a content creator on YouTube or other digital platforms and want to know more about closed captions, then this blog post is for you! In this article, we will delve into the details of closed captions, why they are important, and how they can benefit content creators.

Why are closed captions important?

Closed captions help bridge the gap in accessibility and make videos more inclusive. They help those with hearing impairments to understand and enjoy videos that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss. Closed captions are also useful for those who speak other languages and might have trouble understanding unfamiliar accents or dialects. Moreover, people with learning disabilities such as dyslexia can use the feature to read the transcriptions of what was said on the video. Hence, using closed captions can significantly increase the reachability of your content on the digital platform.

How to add closed captions to your YouTube video?

There are two ways to add closed captions to your YouTube video. The first way is to create closed captions while uploading the video, and the second way is to add closed captions to an already uploaded video.

Creating closed captions for your video while uploading:

YouTube provides a built-in feature to create closed captions while uploading the video. Here’s how to use the feature:

Step 1: Start uploading the video by going to the YouTube studio, selecting the video you want to upload, and click on “Create.”

Step 2: Once uploaded, click on the Subtitles tab, then select Add Language and provide information about your video regarding language and auto-generated captions.

Step 3: After selecting a language, you will have the option to create subtitles for your video. Click on that, and you will be directed to an interface where you can type in the subtitles and timestamps.

Step 4: Fill in all the dialogue along with sound effects or background music.

Step 5: Once done, click on Save.

That’s it! You’ve successfully added CC or closed captions to your video while uploading it.

Adding closed captions to an already uploaded video:

Adding closed captions to an already uploaded video is relatively easy. Here’s how to add closed captions to an already uploaded video:

Step 1: Go to the YouTube Studio and select the desired video.

Step 2: Under the Subtitles tab, click on Add Language.

Step 3: Provide all the information about your video such as language and auto-generation settings, and click on Next.

Step 4: After that, you will have two options: “Upload a file” or “Transcribe and auto-sync.”

Step 5: Choose one and upload your file.

Step 6: Review the upload and your captions will appear on the video.

Best practices for creating closed captions:

1. Be accurate: Ensure that each line is precisely what was said in the video.

2. Add sound descriptions: Apart from the conversation, it is essential to describe the sounds and music that are essential to the video’s meaning.

3. Use proper formatting: Use proper capitalization, punctuation, and grammar for readability.

4. Be consistent: Maintain a consistent style throughout the whole video.

5. Don’t forget to proofread: Once completed, proofread the captions to validate its accuracy.


Closed captions are a critical feature for content creators to consider while uploading their videos to digital platforms such as YouTube. Adding closed captions enhances the accessibility of your content and helps widen your reach to a more extensive audience base. This feature is easy, quick, and affordable to implement. By following best practices such as accuracy, sound descriptions, and proper formatting, you can create captions that are effective and easy to understand. With closed captions, you can ignite your audience’s enthusiasm, aid inclusivity, and increase your content’s viewership and engagement.

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